TrainingStretchingYoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

Yoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

Runners often are seen to focus more on the strength and resistance exercises that could help with their performance on the tracks. The factor of active recovery is often overlooked and this is when the yoga practice comes into the picture. For a runner, the aches, muscle tension from running are a regular occurrence, and practicing yoga could help with the pain and also improve breathing which is significant for running. The benefits of yoga are just manifold. It improves the flexibility of the body, adds to the bone density, enhances blood circulation, and also in building muscle. It is the perfect option for an active recovery post-run.

So here we are laying out yoga poses that you could incorporate into the daily routine as much as possible for improved breathing, posture, and flexibility.

1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Yoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

This yoga pose is the perfect one to evaluate your body and its general feeling. The pose enables you to figure out any tension or stress in areas that could be addressed accordingly. The posture helps in stretching out the calves, quads, hamstrings, and tendons as you are pushing your heel onto the ground. The pose helps in enhancing blood circulation all through the body.

How to Do:

The key here is not to stretch your legs out of the limit. Make sure to maintain the back straight and lift the sit bones leaving the knees in a slight bend. Keep your arms and shoulders all straight and facing up. You could distribute the weight to all the fingers and lift the stress off of the wrist.

2. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Yoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

This is an excellent and fulfilling stretch for the hips, hamstrings, groins, ankle joints, shoulders, and overall spine. It has the added benefit of strengthening the abdominal muscles, legs, and ankles. The light twist in the spine does eventually give support and strength. The pose aids in posture for the runners.

How to Do:

Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and maintain straight legs. Keep your hands raised up and in a parallel stance with the floor. Now stretch your body to one side by keeping the back straight and hips maintained forward. The idea is to touch the floor eventually but you can start with touching the shin initially. Stack your shoulders and glance at the ceiling.

3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

The yoga pose works as the opener of hamstrings, hips, calves and builds strength for the knees and quadriceps. The idea is to loosen up your hamstrings which are especially tight after a running session. The hamstrings could also lead to lower back pain with the stress build-up and further aggravate pain in the knees and hips.

How to Do:

Stand with hip-width apart and maintain a bent forward position. Be sure to anchor on the knees. The weight is to be put on the legs so that there is no stress on the neck and shoulders. It should feel like you are hanging naturally. You could inculcate a little bent on your knees for more relaxation in the upper body.

4. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Yoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

This pose is mainly for the balance of the body. It strengthens calves, ankles, thighs, the spine and strengthens the upper body muscles. The tree pose is also beneficial for reducing flat feet and relieving sciatic pain. The posture also opens up the hips.

How to Do:

Stand tall, keep your back straight and be sure to activate your legs. Move one foot up to the opposite leg and position it over the knee. Make sure you are aligning the foot not on the knee and above it. Stretch all of your lumbar muscles. Now bring both hands above your head and hold your palms while maintaining the posture.

5. Reclining Pigeon Pose (Sucirandhrasana)

Yoga For Runners: 8 Great Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

This pose is perfect to relax and open up the very sore and tight hips. It works on the outer edge of the thigh which is also called the IT band. This is one of the most concerns for a runner, the IT band syndrome. This pose could help in relieving the tension. It is preventative in function.

How to Do:

Lie on your back and maintain your knees in a bent position to cross one foot over the other knee. You need to lead your hand behind the hamstring of the leg and hug it into the chest. The key is to keep shoulders, neck relaxed so that there is no strain on them. 

6. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)

This is considered one of the best stretches for runners. The inner thighs, glutes, quads, groin all are stretched with enhancement in the hip mobility. This releases tension from the lower back and makes you feel relaxed especially after a run.

How to Do:

Lie down on your back. Bring both your feet while facing the palms of them together. The knees should be pointed to either side. Make sure that you maintain the back straight and pressed to the floor.

7. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

This one is a very comforting stretch. All the thighs, knees, low back, and spine are relaxed and stretched out to relieve any tension. Blood flow through the spine is enhanced through the pose. It is very much recommended for the runners as the ankles are helped to maintain suppleness and flexibility. Any shin splints could be avoided which is an annoying problem that runners face. You can get to this pose whenever you think you need a break.

How to Do:

Kneel on the floor by keeping your knees in hip-width apart. Touch the big toes of each leg and bend over to lay your torso down. DO sit back on your thighs and rest your head. For a more fulfilling stretch, you could push your tailbone back and stretch your arms forward. 

8. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

The most common problem among runners is hip tightness and mobility. This could be relieved by the pose. The pose needs focus and even support if one needs it.

How to Do:

Stand tall and extend one leg forward while anchoring on the back leg. Bend the forward leg to a 90-degree angle so that the back is also lowered to the ground. Hips should be facing forwards and tailbone tucked under maintaining the back straight. Initially balancing could be a task, but with practice, it could get better.

Yoga is extremely beneficial for runners. The right form, breathing, and focus need to be followed to reap the most benefits. You can incorporate yoga poses in your warm-up and cool-down routines so that you are ready to push your limits the safe way in the tracks. So give these poses a try and chart your progress accordingly. Slow and steady does win the race!!

Also Read :

  1. What Are the 10 Best Strength Exercises That Could Improve Your Running?
  2. What Is the Right Nutrition for a Runner? Here’s an Entire Guide of What to Eat Before/during/after
  3. Why It’s Important to Warm Up Before Your Run?


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